DENVER (CBS4) — With more than 2 million visitors, a year the Denver zoo is the most visited cultural attraction in the state.
They are now hoping to raise their admission fees.
Arvada resident Carrie Happoldt took her 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, Bailey to the zoo for spring break.
“I think that’s perfectly fine they have a lot of animals to take care of and they need some extra money to do that,” she said.
Andrew Rowan, Senior Director of external relations at the Denver Zoo says that like the rest of the city they too are experiencing an increase in costs.
“There’s a lot of people moving here, we are serving close to 2.3 million guests a year now and our facility is 122 years old so we do have a long list of differed maintenance we need to catch up on,” he said.
The rates would go up between $1 and $3 dollars depending on the age group.
The proposal that comes on the heels of a voter approved bond that gives the zoo $20 million.
A majority of which will be devoted to a brand new animal hospital and cannot be used toward daily operations.
“There’s a distinct difference between the two. So the bonds funds will be heavily invested into new capital structures mainly a new animal hospital that we are very excited about.” rowan says the gate increase will go into general operating funds,” that supports our people, programs and differed maintenance list.”
CBS4 looked at other cultural attractions in the city that receive similar funding, including state tax revenue.
The Denver Art Museum costs $10 for an adult (it’s free for kids under 18) and a day at the Denver botanic gardens would be $12.50 for those over the age of 15.
The Denver city council has to approve any rate increases and will take the issue up at their meeting on April 2.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.